Campgrounds in many areas of Yukon and Alaska interior remain closed until mid-to late May or offer reduced services because of frozen water lines.
FAQ: Driving the Alaska Highway
The Alaska Highway is driven year-round, although most tourist traffic hits the road between May and September. Expect cold nights freezing and below by early September in parts of Yukon and Interior Alaska. Keep in mind that some attractions and businesses in the North operate seasonally, opening around Memorial Day weekend and closing after Labor Day weekend. June and July offer lots of daylight, with summer solstice on or around June 21 st. This gives you extra-long days for driving, fishing, hiking and sightseeing.
May and June tend to be drier than July, but in the North as elsewhere, weather is unpredictable. Along with warm temps and long days you can expect bugs. Bring repellent for yourself and any furry family members to make your stops more enjoyable. Staff frequently receives questions about driving the Alaska Highway in winter from people curious about Alaska winters, the northern lights and winter tourism opportunities. Military families and others who move to or from Alaska in the off-season are also curious to know how to ensure they have a safe trip despite winter road conditions and possible extreme temperatures.
Our in-house and field editorial staff have driven the Alaska Highway many times in winter and report that the road surfaces are smoother and there is no dust or construction, the wildlife viewing includes plenty of variety just not bears and it is easier to spot wildlife on the road as they stand out against the white snow.
We enjoy the peacefulness of roads with less traffic and the expansive beauty of snow covered wide open spaces, frozen lakes, ribbons of rivers and majestic mountains.
The Alaska App
We recommend specific preparations and resources to help you plan for a winter trip on the Alaska Highway. Studded tires are legal in Alaska from Sept. Crews in these northern areas are well equipped to handle winter weather and roads are quickly cleared and ready for traffic after storms. Here is a list of road report phone numbers, websites and weather cams that show stretches of the roads so that you can look ahead at what is to come: For Alaska road conditions go to Alaska and be sure to check the box for weather cameras which will show you all the cam views possible on Alaska roads.
By hovering over the icons on the map you can read current weather conditions. Phone for recorded weather conditions on Alaska roads. For Yukon road conditions go to Yukon or phone or For Northwest Territories road reports go to Northwest Territories highway conditions or phone For Alberta road conditions go to Alberta and click on the map for conditions or phone or Much of this route includes remote miles.
To help with anticipating the unknown, plan to gas up frequently. Even in winter there are gas stations open at reasonable distances but few are open hours. Drive on the top half of your tank—which means, fill up whenever you get near a half-tank—just to be safe. Have a block heater installed in your vehicle and keep your extension cord handy for plugging in if the weather is below zero.
Keep all of your emergency road gear at the top of your load and within easy reach in an emergency. Be sure to have flares, jumper cables, a tow rope, all tire changing equipment and heavy outdoor gear for extreme temperatures, all handy just in case you need them. Above all, if you are stopped along the road and unable to fix your vehicle, set out emergency flares to alert traffic to your situation and then stay in your car till help comes.
Keep sleeping bags, food and water handy to increase the likelihood of a comfortable wait. Travelers help each other in these northern climates and we have seen tractor trailers pull up, latch on and pull out cars from a snowbank, then drive off with nothing more than a wave. Pull well out of the way of traffic and ensure you are visible to those approaching and from behind by setting out flares or flags as far in advance and behind as possible to alert other drivers to slow down.
For those of you from southern climates, freezing temps overnight—when your car is turned off—can affect your cargo. Remember to bring electronics, or at least their batteries, inside with you each night along your trip. Freezing temps wreak havoc on their integrity and can explode canned goods or beverages you may have with you so plan to bring them in with you when you stop for the night.
NOTE: your car battery is not in danger but you should have it checked for charge prior to this trip as freezing temps put more of a strain on it than normal temps.
Eventually in , this became an organized event and the Mount Marathon Race was born. Today, the 4th of July is the day Seward is at its busiest as people from all over the world come to participate and watch the 2nd oldest footrace in the United States behind the Boston Marathon. Happy race day! With a short summer season up in Alaska, all of our guides are seasonal workers and head off to do other things in the winter.
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When talking to a seasonal worker, you may get confused by their vocabulary so here are a few definitions for you to ensure your conversation with a seasonal guide is a pleasant experience. Off Season awf see-zuh n noun : A period of time after one's current seasonal job is over. Can be confusing as seasonal workers will work during the off season. When they start working during the off season, their off season changes to the season they were just working.
Following along? Used in a sentence: Where do you go in the off season? Do not confuse these terms with seasons of the year referring to weather. Used in a sentence: What do you plan to do in the winter? Used in a sentence: Find anything good on Cool Works lately? Weekend week-end noun : A period of time in which one has days off work. Those weekends are usually the busiest days for seasonal workers. When it is busy season, a weekend could be just one day a week.
Used in a sentence: What days are your weekend? Seasonal workers do what they do for the love of their job or place of employment; definitely not the paycheck. Tips are how many seasonal workers pay their bills.
Alaska: The Last Frontier - Wikipedia
Used in a sentence: What did you get tipped out today? So next time you are out on a guided trip with a seasonal worker, use these words to impress them with an understanding of their vernacular.
And of course, don't forget to tip them out Connor is a first year guide who hails from Texas. When Connor was told that Texas actually isn't the largest state in the United States, he was dumbfounded and after going through a short period of depression, he decided to visit the state that is over twice the size of Texas to see what the big deal was. Meet Connor!
Named for the mountain it is run on and not the actual distance, this race is believed to be the second oldest footrace in America behind only the Boston Marathon. Mount Marathon Race. Started as a friendly bet to see if a runner could make it up and down the mountain in less than an hour, the challenge evolved into an annual tradition that brings over 20, visitors to Seward on the 4 th of July. The race itself is roughly a 5K 3. The record time was set last year at Something for our fiction fans out there!
Taking place in the far reaches of the Alaskan tundra, a deadly epidemic strikes putting the local community into complete disarray.
Not many literary pieces are set in Alaska so you will also take away an appreciation for the culture one can find in a part of the country many are unaware of. Look closely; those white spots are all birds! That's a lot of birds.
The glaucous-winged gull, an inconspicuous bird, a simple white and gray motif. You'll see it everywhere up here in Alaska. It's large size makes it often mistaken for an eagle when soaring high in the sky.
Which at times is a fair mistake since glauscous-winged gulls have been known to kill and eat other smaller birds, even small mammals. These birds also happen to play an integral part as food for other birds of prey and spraying nutrient rich "matter" out their rear end. Along side these large birds you will often see their smaller cousin, the kittiwake. We have two types of kittiwake, the black and the red legged. The only way to tell them apart is a visual check of the legs. Kittiwakes love to feed on small oily fish. You will often see a large gathering of these birds above the water when a bait ball school of small fish has gathered.
These bait balls also tend to attract whales, keeping an eye on a pack of kittiwake can sometimes reward you with a sight of some blubber. Well these facts about gulls may not impress you, you may even ignore them when you're out and about. Yet there is no way to ignore either of these birds at their nesting grounds. The stench and the sound are over whelming. The sound and smell of thousands of gulls may not seem appealing but it is truly a sight to be seen Watching the sunset during the evening paddle Ever dream of escaping to a remote wilderness island?
The Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge offers overnight guests comfortable accommodations, wonderful meals and the opportunity to paddle with Sunny Cove. Sunny Cove kayaking options for overnight guests include an exclusive sunset paddle. This pm to pm paddle is a wonderful way to end the day. One benefit of this trip is that we finish at pm and it is still light out! And if the sun is out, you will get to see it set behind the mountains across the bay which is a beautiful sight. This trip is only an option for guests who stay overnight at the Wilderness Lodge which is an excellent way to spend a night at a remote island location in Alaska.
Over the next four years, over , prospectors made the journey to the region in what became known as the Klondike Gold Rush. Unfortunately for most, the terrain and weather proved too much with roughly only 4, prospectors striking gold. When gold was discovered in Nome, Alaska a few years later, most gave up on the treacherous journey that made up the Klondike Gold Rush.
It was very windy and cold but we just had to walk out to peer over the 10 meter cliff.
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